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  • (01. January 2010., 09:27:49)

Author Topic: Cyber criminals using Michael Jackson's death to spread computer viruses  (Read 951 times)

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Michael Jackson's death is being exploited by cyber criminals spreading computer viruses through infected emails to fans, experts have warned.

Just hours after the 50-year-old singer died following a heart attack at his home in Los Angeles, a barrage of spam emails were sent around the globe.

One message tempted recipients to open it by offering "vital information" about Jackson's death, while another claimed to contain secret songs and photos of the star.

However, once opened the emails expose users' computers to infection and allow hackers to harvest their email addresses.

Sophos, an IT firm which monitors spam, warned recipients not to open the emails and delete them immediately.

Graham Cluley, the firm's senior technology consultant, said: "Michael Jackson's untimely death has been a huge news story – which is the perfect vehicle for spammers to snare vulnerable computer users.

"They are relying on curious users to reply to their bogus claims but if you get one of these messages just delete it.

"Cyber criminals have no respect for taste and decency – the only thing they are interested in is making money for themselves and turning other computer users's lives into a misery."

One of the emails has the subject line "Remembering Michael Jackson" and claims to come from

It says that an attached ZIP file titled "Michael songs and" contains secret songs and photos of Michael Jackson.

However, by opening the attachment, computer users are exposed to a virus, which will make their computer begin automatically spreading the worm to other internet users.

Mr Cluley added: "In light of the huge interest in Jackson since his sudden death, there are likely to be many computer users who are tempted into opening the attachment.

"But sensible computer users should by now be well aware that cyber criminals will be quick to exploit news events to spread malware and spam.

"Anyone who receives this email should delete it immediately to save themselves the embarrassment of infecting their email contacts."

Another scam email, falsely purporting to be from Tamla Motown founder Berry Gordy, arrived in Britain on Wednesday offering the chance to win free copies of Michael Jackson CDs.

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